Series: Game 3 of 4

Boston leads 2-1 (as of 9/7)

Game 1: Thursday, September 5
Toronto 5Final
Boston 4
Game 2: Friday, September 6
Toronto 2Final
Boston 7
Game 3: Saturday, September 7
Toronto 1Final
Boston 4
Game 4: Sunday, September 8
Toronto 9Final
Boston 4

Blue Jays 1

(62-80, 28-42 away)

Red Sox 4

(79-61, 37-33 home)

    5:05 PM ET, September 7, 2002

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    TOR 010000000 1 - -
    BOS 00000202 - 4 - -

    W: C. Fossum (4-3)

    L: B. Bowles (0-1)

    S: U. Urbina (31)

    Red Sox's Fossum strikes out first six batters

    BOSTON (AP) -- The best pitchers in the Red Sox rotation over the past two weeks aren't Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe, the All-Star selections and Cy Young Award favorites.

    Casey Fossum

    Actually, it's Casey Fossum and Tim Wakefield who have been the stoppers of the Boston staff.

    Fossum combined with three relievers on a three-hitter, and Manny Ramirez had a homer and three RBI on Saturday as the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Saturday night.

    "His development is a big plus for the organization,'' Boston manager Grady Little said after Fossum matched a career-high with nine strikeouts in six innings. "He improves each and every time out there.''

    It was the second consecutive win for Fossum (4-3), the second straight win for the Red Sox and the second time in a row that Wakefield and Fossum have won back-to-back starts.

    Lowe and Ugueth Urbina have Boston's only other wins since Aug. 24. Since then, Martinez has started just once because of injuries to his hip and groin; he threw in the bullpen Saturday and could return to the rotation next week.

    "It's not like we're putting pressure on ourselves that Pedro's hurt, we've got to win,'' Fossum said. "I don't worry about that. I just want to win myself.''

    Wayne Gomes, Alan Embree and Ugueth Urbina each pitched a perfect inning in relief. Urbina earned his 31st save in 36 opportunities.

    Fossum, called up on from Triple-A in July, got his first six outs by strikeout, a streak that was interrupted by Tom Wilson's solo homer that gave Toronto a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

    The Red Sox scored two off Brian Bowles (0-1) in the sixth when Ramirez hit an RBI double and scored on Cliff Floyd's single. Ramirez added a two-run homer in the eighth, a 430-foot shot over the screen above the Green Monster to make it 4-1.

    Fossum started out by hitting leadoff batter Shannon Stewart with a pitch, causing a forearm bruise that forced Stewart out of the game. Dave Berg walked, then Fossum struck out Vernon Wells, Carlos Delgado and Josh Phelps to end the first and Chris Woodward to start the second.

    After Wilson hit his eighth homer of the season, Fossum bounced back by fanning Jayson Werth and Felipe Lopez to end the second.

    Lopez, who doubled in the fifth, was the only other Toronto batter to reach second base. The nine strikeouts ties a career high for Fossum, who also fanned nine in a seven-inning relief appearance in July. The Blue Jays struck out 13 times in the game.

    While the Red Sox cling to diminishing hopes in the AL playoff race, Toronto is already eliminated and playing for next year. The first four Blue Jays pitchers were rookies, including starter Mark Hendrickson, who was making his first major-league start.

    Hendrickson allowed just two hits and two walks, striking out one and leaving after five innings with a 1-0 lead. But Bowles couldn't protect it, allowing two runs on three hits.

    "Any time you can leave the game with your team ahead, it's a good outing,'' said Hendrickson, a former NBA player who got a no-decision. "You did your job. For the most part, I was happy.''

    Johnny Damon led of the sixth with a double and, two outs later, Ramirez poked an 0-2 pitch down the right-field line to tie it. Ramirez took third on a wild pitch and scored to make it 2-1 when Floyd singled to right over the first baseman's head.

    Game notes

    Martinez threw more than 50 pitches in the bullpen before the game and could be ready to start Tuesday or Wednesday. He will miss two turns in the rotation, including Sunday, because of groin and hip problems. ... Shane Andrews made his Red Sox debut. ... Ramirez has enough at-bats to qualify for the league leaders. He is third in batting average (.333) and third in slugging (.612), and first in on-base percentage and batting average with runners in scoring position. ... Toronto 2B Orlando Hudson was a late scratch because of lingering effects from the flu. Dave Berg replaced him in the lineup. ... At 6-foot-9, Hendrickson is the tallest Blue Jay ever, taking the honor from 6-foot-7 Graeme Lloyd. ... The Red Sox had gone a season-high five games without a homer. ... Toronto fell to 31-31 against the AL East. It is 18 games under .500 in all.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press